Good Evening Folks,
I have realised I have not updated you on my travels for a pretty long time, this is mainly because I am in a little town with not that much to do apart from work on the Banana farms. But after coming under heaps of pressure from my Mum and Dad to update the blog I have decided its about time to give the people what they want and give you the story of Innisfail so far.
So lets start at the beginning, I decided to leave Cairns after just a week and a half. I wanted to get my 3 month agricultural work out of the way so I could get my second year visa and Innisfail semt the best choice. I arrived in Innisfail after a 1 and a half hour bus journey from Cairns, this was a piece of cake compared to the bus treks Earl Alexander Johnson and I were doing in Asia. When I got to Innisfail me and an Irish guy called Ben headed straight to the Crown Hotel where they promised me work in 1-2 weeks. The hostel is not the best, the owners are pretty cheap and do anything to save money. For example it took them a week to call the plumber to fix the sink after trying any other cheaper alternative. We also live above a pub so trying to get to sleep on karoke wednesday, and the partying on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday can be pretty challenging. But its by no means the worse hostel I have stayed at and the people here sound and are like one big family so it more than makes up for the downfalls of the hostel. We also stay above a drive thru off license and are only across the street from mcdonalds, k-mart, coles and subway so we have a pretty good location. The hostel has many Irish and English people, we alsohave a couple of swedes a lithuania who now lives in Nottingham, two Germans, a french bloke and thee Italians.
In my first week the weather was pretty wet and rainy so it ment long days in the hostel drinking goon (for the new readers goon is a 4 litre box of wine, the cheapest alcohol you can get in Oz) and watching films. The week after and there was still no work this was because the weather had prevented the Banana's from growing so they weren't ready to be picked. Luckily for me though the weather had improved so I was able to get out and about more. I took it upon myself to visit Warrina Lakes and Botantical Gardens and I also did the Innisfail walking tour where I saw the highlights of the town including the canecutters memorial, the jubilee bridge, Innisfails oldest building and Woolworths - no this is not the English shop that went bust but an Australian supermarket. This as well as Coltz cyber cafe being on the walking tour shows you that Innisfail hasn't got much to offer.
Luckily we were able to make our own entertainment, we have dominoe tuesdays where we get cheap pizza's for tea and I have learnt many new drinking games the best by far being horse racing. We went to the river and had a barbeque for a girl called Olivia who had completed her 3 months and was going to Cairns with her boyfriend, we went to the fields to drink, play football and play football rounders. And when Emma, Jonny and Darren were leaving we went to the fields and did hostel olympics with events such as wheelbarrow racing. Me, Jonny, Lucas, Rasmus and Eric also took a trip to the Horse racing stadium one day. We only got to see one race and I didnt have a bet because I had no money but we had fun trying to get free sandwiches and cake from the vip section of the stadium.
The weekends tend to be really mental here as people work in the week and really let their hair down at the weekends which normally means a drinking session which goes from Friday until Sunday. Nights out consist of a lot of goon drinking, an Italian guy even tried it with corn flakes, which we appropiately named goon flakes. The goon flakes smelt of tuna and they didnt taste the best either, to give him credit though he did manage to eat most of it before passing out in his room. Innisfail only has one night club too, a few doors down from us is Rumours. A place where its best to go about 1am when its at its most popular with about 50 people partying the night away. The nights out are what you make it though and we always tend to have a good laugh there.
While I have been here too also coincided with Euro 2012. With the games being played at 2am and 4.45 am there was nowhere open to watch the games, also Australian terrestrial tv only got the rihts to show two quarter finals, one semi-final and the final. This ment waking up at stupid times, crowding round laptops watching games which was pretty weird. It was also not pleasant watching the England v italy game with two Italians who made sure they gloated about the result, luckily they got beat in the final or I don't think we would have herd the end of it.
All this and I'm not even on to working on the Banana farm yet, it appears I did have plenty to talk about and no doubt I have missed things out too. So anyway on to Banana farming, it took 4 weeks for me to find a job this was a mixture of no vacancies and the bananas not growing well. My first day was at Atwal's farm. This was run by an Indian called Afta, on my first day I spent 8 hours de-leafing this was an easy job, but it was pretty boring and makes your arm ache doing it all day. It basically involved having a big pole with a blade on the end and cutting all the bad leaves off the banana trees. The next day I was faced with a much harder and busier job hanging. For those of you who don't know the Banana process here it is so you can understand what I am talking about a bit more: - Bananas grow in massive bunches, they are bagged so they can grow and don't get sun-burnt then they get cut and humped to the trailer, this is done on ground level, and some of the bunches can way around 50-60kg. They then get brought back to the shed where they get lifted and hung on ropes, and the bags took off them (this is the job I've been doing) the bunches are then cut into the smaller bunches you see in shops and washed, sorted, packed and stacked and that's the Banana process. I did hanging for the next two days and got payed just over $450 for the three days. It felt good getting my first pay check. The next week I only had two days work, again hanging. I didn't want to keep doing two or three days a week this would mean I wouldn't be able to save a great deal and it would also take me forever to do the required amount of days to get my second year visa. So I was assigned a new farm at this farm I work with a team of Indian fellas and my job is the easiest I have had so fa on a banana farm, once they hump the big banana bunches to the trailer I have to secure this with an elesticated rope. When I did this last week it was the only time so far I have not come back from a Banana farm and not ached. I only got two days last week but hopefully from next week I should be at least doing 4 days a week. Health and safety is pretty no existent though at the farms and I've seen 5 live snakes in 7 working days which have been on the bunches as I hang them or just slithering through the paddocks. As well as snakes you also see a lot of other wild life such as spiders, frogs and crickets
I almost forgot to mention on my second day on the banana farm i stepped off the trailer and split my shorts from the top all the way to the bottom of my right leg via my buttock. It was pretty embarrasing as it happened early doors but luckily the bosses son gave me some of his shorts at first break otherwise I think I may have ended up just woring in my boxers for the rest of the day.
Also as some of you may have seen on Facebook I have started feeling a little guilty that I am living the dream out here and you guys are stuck back in England with heavy rainfall, working and not fortuante to be in the position I am in. So I put my thinking cap on and have come up with a plan. I would like you to give me suggestions of things to do in Australia. These could be things that you'd really want to do here so I'd theoretically live out the dream for you, or you may know something that I'm scared of, so may suggest something to do with that so that I crap my pants and not live the dream as much, or you could just be nice and know of something really fun to do. They could be small or big suggestions, visit a place or attraction, silly pranks, do a specific activity or try a type of food. Any realistic suggestion is welcome and I promise I will try and do every realistic suggestion by the time I have finished my travelling in Oz. I've already ahd a few such as go to Steve Irwin's zoo, dressed as a croc and restle a croc, climb up sydney bridge, don't use my right arm for two weeks, make an appearance on home and away and also participate in an aussie rues game. So please if there is anything you would like to see me do leave a comment, inbox me, email me or drop me a text.
So I think thats about it for now from Innisfail. Its pretty much like being at uni again but apart from going to lectures an seminars I'm working on a Banana farm and getting paid for the pleasure.
I'll try and keep you updated more often
Stay safe and speak soon